Oh My God WOW…just wow…
What a baffling, boggling, brain bender of a book Unger House Radicals was!! I was completely mesmerized. Mesmerized by the unconventional, abnormally unusual story and at Chris Kelso’s hypnotic writing style. It’s writing that is so beautiful, which is knock-you-upside-the-head jarring considering its content. So much horrific beauty though…
And take a look at the breathtaking cover picture, really…just look at it. There are plenty more ominously delectable hidden-picture-within-a-picture type photos inside the pages too!!
So, even though it’s still ping ponging for level up’s up in my head, it’s a 5 star read ALL THE WAY.
BUT for the most part, I think I followed it pretty well, I’m just not sure if I can find my way back out…
I needed Valium. Popped a couple.YEP, this was pretty damn deep, like deeeeep deep, waaay out past the buoys ~ with no floaties, plus piranhas.
Not an all out there bizarro though, although it is awfully bizarre. It was set in a realistic-ish world…just a weird, strange, and very very surrealistic alt-ish world. I also detected a hardy smidge of satire as well.
I know, I know, that was kind of a total contradiction. Yea, I’m still a bit frazzled.Alright so, hands down, this author is beyond the bounds of ordinary brilliance, his wordsmithing skills, his story crafting skills, that big scary brain of his….holy fucking hell!!
He’s Summa Cum Laude honors all the way, kind of brilliant.
Head of the writers class, Mr. Kelso, you’re a prodigy. * and shhh he’s still in his 20’s which is unbelievable and further proves my above statement, it must be a Scottish thang…
I have no doubt that he is going to be a HUGE name one day. He writes intellectual thought-provoking deep daaark stories, that transcend the basic horror market.
I have read the synopses and reviews for ALL his other books too ~ which seem to be just as progressive and surrealistic ~ so YEP, he’s an enigmatic writer virtuoso.
Blurbs from other writers and blog sites say the same thing about this writing boy wonder.
“Sleep is when all our masks seem to slip and we are vulnerable and completely ourselves in catatonic truth.”
Vince was always an odd guy, never fit in as a kid in school or in college. He wants to be an artist, a revolutionary anti filmmaker, of sorts. He fashions himself as a budding Warhol or Lynch. He’s drawn to the morose and melancholy, the atypical and the perverse.
Yet he does have an affinity for pop culture too, famous actors like Murray and Bacon and bubble gum pop stars like Britney and The Backstreet Boys often pop into his head and even converse, at times.
Meeting a serial killer who moonlights as an actor, named Brandon, in a back alley of the New York streets one day ~ he falls madly in love with this alpha male, who does and says as he pleases, he wears many faces and has ruined many places.
They need each other, to start a subversive new cinematic movement in true nihilist existentialism, they have coined it; Ultra Realism.
With Vince as the director and Brandon as the actor(s), they head down to Vince’s old homestead in Louisiana to begin principle photography. It’s an old dilapidated house with a touch of brutal history and a narrative all its own, called Unger House.
Forcefully casting their female lead (their sacrificial lamb), they begin filming their anti film. Things are not as cut throat and dry as they seem though and Vince is having some rather outspoken deep-rooted cerebral issues.
A journey through the bowels of schizophrenia and psychosis under the de`guisemnt of
method acting with some very unorthodox narrative points of view….
This was like Eraserhead on LSD channeling Nietzsche, in it’s style.
The 2nd half of this book, we flash forward ~ and back….and sideways ~ it becomes pretty non linear but as long as you pay attention to that nonlinear lineage, you should follow it okay.
I did have to double back to recheck a few things, just to make sure I was on the right track with this off the rails psychologically awe-tastic (…cautionary) tale.
Well Vince and Brandon did end up starting a whole shit storm of a radical ‘free thinking’ avant-garde extremist (…terroristic) anti cinematic movement all right, deluded devotees ~ cogs in the machine ~ blindly and ignorantly follow the teachings of what has been coined; The Great Isolation.
Many new characters come into play (kind of), calling themselves ‘Neo-Realists’, they’ve formed cults, colonizing and harmonizing together. Like a fundamentalist 4th Reich, sans any sort of God fearing bible thumping.
No morals or value for human life, none. It’s about reaching a higher level of consciousness, an advanced evolution. Becoming desensitized, it’s the way to move forward. It’s the nextstep in evolution. Fanatical zealot misanthropes contrivedly forging their own all encompassing anti-humanistic anti-art house version of The Church of Euthanasia with fatalistic recruiting skills.
A culling is their calling, at all costs. And deficits.
It’s like, mass hysterical nihilistic’s disease. Airborne.
How warped and jaded and easily led wannabe artsy fartsy pretentious society easily becomes when hopping on alternative anti-hip (or hipster depending on their favored soapbox) bandwagons.
Kind of reminds me of dictatorship political rallies or celebrity worship, false idols and all that.
That’s just my 2 cents worth, and I’m usually a few cents shy of.
This is not the kind of easy breezy book you read in between chores and/or during commercial breaks, you gotta pop some Ginkgo’s (chased with Valium…) and focus!
I read it in 2 sittings, then another 2 sittings to skim back through it. It’s puzzling and you MUST fit all the pieces together, flush. It was exhilarating, and exhausting. Pay attention but DON’T overthink it, you’ll end up doing a 360 backward, tit inverting toe.
I really do feel soo unworthy attempting one of my cheerleader reviews here. I’m a bit outta my squad league. This book was slightly above my simple-minded head but it was just so damn fascinating and intriguing. Like a train wreck you can’t stop watching, cause you’re a passenger in the refuse heap cart.
And so yes, I fully admit, I did a pretty lousy job at attempting to summarize this tragically stunning and stupefyingly surreal book up, I tried, my mind just don’t bend that way.
It’s all UP there, just don’t know how to write it down.
I’ve read bunches of other reviews and they all do a waaay better job than me, so check em out!
Cause believe me, I have barely touched bases on this innovative, cutting edge story, I’ve mostly just cut out and around all the corners. There is a BIG intrinsic and engrossing story at (foul) play here.
JESUS, this is by far the hardest review I have ever written!!
Umm….JUST READ THE DAMN BOOK, then come back for a bit of discussion…umm I think that’s what we are supposed to do, could be a culled casualty otherwise.
So Hurry Up, time is of the utmost nihilist essence!
I’m quite sure no two people will read this same book. Everyone will interpret and rationalize it differently.
It’s like..it’s a character study, but a character study of us; the reader.
I feel like I have been violated. Aaand I rather liked it.
Nihilist existentialistic absurdism shadowing Nietzschean with sprinklings of stoicism and a mad dash of The Myth of Sisyphus in a far left field extremist post modernistic world.
That’s a lot of 10 dollar words right there that I don’t really know the broad meanings of and doubt I used in the correct context, but….that about sums it up.
Well, to the best of my inability anyway….
I’m so very glad I came across and read this (errr well, lived in it), however I don’t think I could venture into Kelso’s labyrinthine vertex mega watt cranium at regular oft intervals though. My head would simply implode and frankly, I need the air to keep it’s lovely shape.
Moderation, it’s key.
My head is impaired and I’m all out of valium.
I live in a bubble and Kelso popped it. He popped my bubble!!
I am warily and wholly drawn to more of his writings, like a moth to a flame. A sheep to slaughter.
Just let me make a trip to my pharmacist first.
YEEEA, I think Kelso created a new writing movement ~ the cults are conglomerating!!
“Always strive for meaning in the meaningless, it’s all we have to offer, but what a thing to offer …”